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Advice

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Adopt-a-Family Through CALM

Adopt-a-Family connects givers with families in need during the holiday season. Click to view larger
Adopt-a-Family connects givers with families in need during the holiday season. (CALM photo)

For many families, the holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year. But for families who have experienced trauma such as child abuse or domestic violence, especially those with young children, the holidays can be an extremely difficult time of year.

Each year, with the help of the community and volunteers, Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) provides hundreds of children and families throughout Santa Barbara County with holiday cheer by delivering gifts, basic supplies, food and festive decorations during the holiday season through the Adopt-a-Family program

Through their Adopt-a-Family program, CALM identifies families they serve who could use the extra support and then coordinates with staff to determine each particular family’s needs.

Last year, CALM supporters adopted over 250 families throughout Santa Barbara County. Once again this year, CALM has received wish lists from struggling families in both North and South Santa Barbara County.

With the support and generosity of the local community, CALM hopes to reach those families and possibly even more who are dealing with the devastation of child abuse and neglect.

“The parade of presents from our generous supporters represents something much more than gifts to the families who receive them,” shared Cecilia Rodriguez, CEO of CALM. “It sends a message to these parents and these children that they are valued members of our community and that there are people who care about them. When we connect people to one another across the county, we strengthen protective factors for our children and we actually prevent abuse.”

Wish lists are modest and help meet the family’s basic needs. Requests are simple — from shoes, to coats and clothing, to books and, of course, toys.

CALM’s Adopt-a-Family program is a powerful way to give back to the community and support families in need. CALM encourages those interested to join together with friends, family, classmates and even co-workers in the spirit of giving, and to make a difference this holiday season by adopting a family.  

Adopt-a-Family participants can purchase gifts from an assigned family’s wish list or leave the shopping to CALM. Any contribution is appreciated and welcomed.

CALM requests that all gifts be turned in by Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, to allow therapists the time to deliver the gifts to the families before the holidays.

Through the community’s help, the children and families CALM serves will feel the sense of belonging and care from our community. 

For more information on how to Adopt-a-Family in Santa Barbara or Lompoc, please contact Nicold Ballas at 805.965.2376 or [email protected]. For Santa Maria, contact Sandra Fuhring at 805.614.9160 or [email protected].  

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing CALM.

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